Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Meat-free Vegetable Bolognese Linguini

Hands up if you’ve been observing ‘Meatless Mondays’ or 'Meat-free Week’ and generally trying to eat less meat.
*my hand is tentatively half-raised*

My efforts to reduce the amount of processed food I eat has - sort of - extended to eating less meat and less white potatoes, and more leafy greens and vegetables. It’s been a bit of a failure so far, but it has also emphasised to me just how much meat and processed gunk I do consume.

It’s not my fault, she whines. It’s just that most of the ‘good’ food is pretty boring when compared to a juicy chargrilled steak with some little roast potatoes with truffle salt… (I dare you to deny this!).

That was, until I tried this most excellent Vegetable Bolognese. Admittedly, it doesn’t sound too exciting, but please believe me when I tell you that this is one of the most flavoursome pasta dishes I’ve ever had.

The intensely flavoured porcini, sweet carrot and capsicum and a good glug of red wine are all concentrated into this amazingly luscious sauce that looks like meaty bolognese but tastes so much better. You must give it a try, even if you aren’t planning on going meat-free.

Vegetable Bolognese
serves 2

¼ cup dried porcini mushrooms
200g linguini
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 small brown onion, roughly chopped
1 red or yellow capsicum, roughly chopped
100g Swiss brown mushrooms, roughly sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tblsp olive oil
½ tblsp chopped thyme leaves
2 tblsp sundried tomato pesto
¼ cup red wine
¾ cup vegetable stock
¼ cup mascarpone
Grated parmesan, to serve


1. Soak porcini in ½ cup boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain, reserving the liquid, and roughly chop the porcini.

2. Place the carrot, onion, capsicum, Swiss brown mushrooms and garlic in a food processor and process until finely chopped but not mushy.

3. Meanwhile, cook linguine in a large saucepan of boiling, salted water until al dente.

4. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and add the finely chopped vegetables. Cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes, until softened. Add the thyme, pesto and porcini and cook for another minute.

5. Add the wine, stock and half the reserved porcini liquid. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, and stir through the mascarpone, then season with salt and pepper.

6. Drain the linguine. Add the vegetable sauce to the pasta and gently toss to combine. Sprinkle parmesan on top and serve.

recipe adapted from delicious (March 2013).

Lovely veg, including yellow capsicum, onion, carrot, dried porcini and Swiss brown mushrooms

The rest of the ingredients: mascarpone, red wine, sundried tomato pesto and linguini

A rich, flavourful meat-free dish
I don't like my pasta to be too 'wet', but you can add more liquid to the serving, if you like.


  1. I for sure don't need meat if this bolognaise was served for the lunch. I am even thinking to become a part time vegetarian...

  2. Great! I am Italian and I love linguine!! :)

  3. I made a veggie bolognese a few months ago when I had zucchinis AND carrots both ripen at the same time on the balcony. I really enjoyed it...I'm cooking far these meat at home these days - though that doesn't mean I don't crave steak or a pork roast every now & then!

  4. You veggie bolognese actually looks every bit as tasty as you make it sound! :) I'm not a huge fan of spag bol, mostly because I find it quite boring, but this version looks really interesting and tasty :D

  5. I'm constantly looking for a good meat-free pasta sauce to please the boyfriend...and this looks perfect!

  6. im looking at trying to eat less meat and healthier in general but sometimes outings and events just pop up and its hard to get a vegetarian option! lovely post tho, shall try that soon!

  7. looks so yummy =)
    Neat post and love your blog... would you like to follow each other!

    My Lyfe ; My Story

  8. Nice vegetarian pasta dish Bel...perfect for a weeknight dinner.
    Hope you are having a great week :)

  9. Sounds excellent - thanks for the recipe. I've been trying to eat better too, although I now know for sure that I could never do carb free (no pasta? Crazy!)

  10. I love your photo of the bolognese - sounds delicious!

  11. Haha, I'm not actually much of a meat eater myself, so my hand is also half up also. This looks great though! Definitely will make my meat-loving friends not miss a single bite of meat if I were to serve it to them!

  12. I am used to the meaty bol but I think this looks like a beautiful alternative and enables me to be in steady supply of bol sauce when I am out of mince!

  13. Una verdadera delicia adoro las pastas saludos y buena pascua hugs,hugs.

  14. haha, meatless anyways for me is a no go. I think it's all in the min though because I can easily forgo meat for a day or even two but knowing I had a day in the week has been 'scheduled' will just mess with me LOL But yes to this veggie bolognese!!!

  15. looks delicious and fun name for a blog